Posted by: okathleen | January 27, 2009

Fat is where it’s at..

Have just managed to prise Florence from the sofa.

She was in need of some downtime, but not quite as low down as she got.

Three terrestrial television channels offered the following combinations:

Obese woman v emaciated woman – let’s swap calorie counts,

Obese child counselled by used to be obese child, now omnipresent gay tv presenter,

Fat lass n thin lass give advice to fat n thin lasses who ought to know better.

Those winter nights fly by with quality entertainment such as this. What superficial tripe, formulaic propoganda, pathetic, but dangerous – this constant bombardment – how to look, what to wear, who to reflect.

Is SEE BRITNEY NAKED still the most Googled question in the ether?

Help, stop, I want to get off. Now.

So, we switched off the evil eye and Flo decided to retire with a book. Perhaps I ought to have checked which book….

It was bonanza time in a Charity Shop in a Northern Town today. Scanty pickings in the bric-a-brac department, but this was more than compensated for in the book department. Joan, at the till, puts this down to the credit crunch. It seems folk are holding on to their objets d’art a little longer, or becoming Ebay powersellers. I was very naughty indeed and indulged in some deliberately outside of my comfort zone reading. The next few posts will be a dip in and out of these ancient tomes. What was purchased and why?

Samuel Pepys was the first victim.


This is a very old edition. Grubby and tatty doesn’t do it justice. Somewhere on the shelves at home is a new edition, and an accompaniment from Claire Tomalin, but as long as Eli doesn’t notice, it’s all for the cause.  Pepys is not outside my comfort zone (in small doses), but this copy was irresistible. It was a present to Florence Bardieu in 1925, and I assume it is her blue/black inky scribble in the margins.

On this day, this very day 350 years ago, Sam had this for his supper, but not on a tray in front of the TV.

“ wife had got ready a very fine dinner – viz. a dish of marrow bones; a leg of mutton; a loin of veal; a dish of fowl; three pullets and a dozen of larks all in a dish; a great tart, a neat’s tongue, a dish of anchovies; a dish of prawns and cheese…”

God bless his belly.

Wok Gan or whatever his name is would have kittens, and where is Mr Pepys’ five a day? It’s a disgrace, what would happen if we all ate like that. We’d turn into great big lardy units. Oh, hold on a minute. We are turning into great big lardy units. Sam’s life was touched by the Bubonic Plague wafting through London, Flo’s life is being touched by the Bulgonic Plague, or should that be Bulkonic? An epidemic of blubber taking its hold, the zeitgeist of the 21st Century, we are catching the fat disease. Is there a jab for that?


‘…collecting is an aesthetic activity that gives expression to the universal experience of the ephemerality of human existence…’ (Brenda Danet, aesthetic principles in collecting..)

“We are mysterious creatures who mark our time on earth through tangible remembrances. We transform time itself, as it were, into tangible space through our makings and doings, personalising our environment while objectifying ourselves. In our own time it might be said that things themselves have got the better of us, dominating our lives with their claim that buying and selling is the ultimate goal of existence. Yet in this economic age of possession, it remains possible, and indeed all the more essential, to reclaim significance from our surroundings. As Jorge Luis Borges has said, ‘Time is the one essential mystery’, and ‘Our task is to turn memory into beauty’. (Ibid. p236)

Turning memory into beauty is easier said than done when surrounded by so many negative images. Avoid the news channels and fat/thin programmes at all cost. Feed your soul, every day. A poem, a painting, a glance at the sun through the trees. Or an object. A useless, impractical object, that is only there to serve the purpose of adornment, or evoking an emotion of gladness (Roger Fry).

Neuer weather-beaten Saile more willing bent to shore,
Neuer tyred Pilgrims limbs affected slumber more,
Than my wearied spright now longs to flye out of my troubled
brest :
O come quickly, sweetest Lord, and take my soule to rest.

Euer-blooming are the ioys of Heau’ns high paradice,
Cold age deafes not there our eares, nor vapour dims our eyes :
Glory there the Sun outshines, whose beames the blessed
onely see ;
O come quickly, glorious Lord, and raise my spright to thee.

Campion. (Ok, not cheery, but it did it for me)

St Sebastian also reaches the parts other sculptures might not –


Cheerio blog, I’m definitely feeling more chipper. Two meetings and lots of encouragement and advice, it doesn’t take much, I’m easily pleased. Will put suggestions into place. (Drop film, pick up SMAAG, blog with variety, in other voices, introduce poetic and academic taints…).


  1. Great post! You had me laughing then thinking! I love it when both of these things are brought into one post humor and food for thought! Thank you for posting!

  2. Hey from BoingBoing!

    I really enjoyed this post 🙂

  3. Thanks for posting please call again!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: